Nuggets: You Burn Me Up and Down by We The People

Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968, and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.

Track 109: You Burn Me Up and Down by We The People
Release Date: 1966
From: Orlando, Florida
Aphoristical Rating: 6/10

We The People were a garage rock supergroup from Orlando, Florida, formed from members of The Coachmen, the Nation Rocking Shadows, and The Offbeets. The band boasted two songwriters, Tommy Talton and Wayne Proctor. Talton’s ‘You Burn Me Up and Down’ is the second song from We The People featured on Nuggets. It was originally released as a b-side to their third single ‘He Doesn’t Go About It Right’. Note that the header art is taken from a later We The People single – it was the only hi-resolution artwork that I could find.

It’s commendable that the Nuggets compilers sifted through the group’s b-sides for material, but ‘You Burn Me Up and Down’ is one of the lesser tracks I’ve encountered on Nuggets so far. It sounds inspired by Van Morrison’s Them, with a bluesy feel and authoritative lead vocal.

We The People never released a studio album, but did release enough singles to justify several compilations; notably 1983’s Declaration of Independence. Like The Band and The The, We The People’s Declaration of Independence is not an easy item to find on Google! In an interesting piece of timing, today’s post shares its date with the “We The People” inauguration concert, featuring Fall Out Boy, Carole King, Ben Harper, and James Taylor.

Proctor wrote most of We The People’s material, but it was Tommy Talton who went onto a professional music career. He was part of the country rock band Cowboy who played with the Allman Brothers and Bonnie Bramlett. Cowboy released a reunion album in 2018, titled 10’ll Getcha Twenty.

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  1. I think this one makes it in the end because of the main guitar riff and his singing, which is kind of typical but pretty good nonetheless. There’s a lot of similar singing on this album but most of them aren’t as good as this. The drums sound good too. But it’s the guitar part that puts it over the top as far as I’m concerned. If I was rating them I would probably give it an 8 out of 10.

  2. I like the wild lead guitar bursts.
    It doesn’t have a hook like some of the others. I think the chorus is a little forced but I like it. He does have a good voice.

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